Educational Institutions

WIU Foundation (Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Foundation)

  • Greensburg, PA
  • www.wiu.k12.pa.us

Mission Statement

The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Foundation, Inc. supports communication, encourages interaction, and allocates resources from the community and/or private sector for the purpose of promoting and enhancing educational opportunities for students and educators throughout Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The WIU Foundation strives to generate revenue, increase community awareness, and develop resources in order to enrich the educational experience for Westmoreland County students, especially those with special needs.

Main Programs

  1. Impact Grants
  2. Therapeutic Horseback Riding
  3. You Should Hear What You're Missing

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Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

ruling year

2004

Principal Officer since 2003

Self-reported

Mr. Gregg Kretchun

Keywords

Self-reported

WIU Foundation; WIUF; Westmoreland IU Foundation

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EIN

20-0198449

 Number

5068349154

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

·During FY 2010-2011, the WIU Foundation provided eight awards totaling $5,174 through our annual Impact Grants, a mini-grant program for special education professionals throughout Westmoreland County.Competitive grants of up to $1,000 are awarded to innovative projects/teaching methods to improve the students’ capacities to learn or to improve teachers' effectiveness.

·WIUF supported a therapeutic horseback riding therapy program for 3-5-year-olds with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Held at a local therapeutic riding center, the third-year program benefits children from the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit’s Early Intervention classes.

·A long-term project involving assistive technologies/equipment was bolstered by the purchase of a Pediatric Quadriciser for an IU-operated school for children with special needs. The equipment has proven to be quite beneficial in gently creating movement and exercising the muscles of students who have limited or no movement in their limbs.

·Support for a fledgling instrumental/choral music program for children with special needs included securing choir robes for performances by the choir at events such as a Veterans Day program and graduation.

Goals for coming year include:·Securing an ongoing source to contribute $12,000-$15,000 annually to continue and expand the therapeutic horseback riding program, which benefits young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participants have realized substantial gains in verbalization, self concept, self regulation, social relationships, fine motor skills, behavior, and communication skills among others.

·Attracting revenue of approximately $3,000 for a Hearing Aid Loan program which allows a student with hearing impairments -- but with reluctance to utilize assistance -- to experience a six-week trial with hearing aids.

·Lining up major sponsors to fully/partially underwrite special events – a Fall Cash Bash; Breakfast with Santa; and a Vera Bradley/Longaberger Bingo.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Impact Grants

Currently, the primary focus is the annual awarding of Impact Grants(http://www.wiu.k12.pa.us/650510101885643463/blank/browse.asp?a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=53148)  of up to $1,000 to teachers/professionals in special education classrooms.  Proposals are welcome from WIU or district educators who are seeking to develop innovative projects or creative teaching methods to either improve the students’ capacities to learn or upgrade their own effectiveness in teaching. Priority is given to projects that cannot or should not be financed through the school’s regular funding streams. Recent grants have helped to establish, among other programs: an exceptional horseback riding therapy program for 3- to 5-year-olds with Autism; a first-time instrumental and choral music program in a school for children with special needs; a hearing aid loan program for secondary students; a fitness agenda to battle childhood obesity in a school for children with special needs, and; a unique elementary math course utilizing LegoTMbuilding blocks.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$6,000.00

Program 2

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

The WIUF supports a therapeutic horseback riding program for preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Initiated by an Impact Grant, the third-year program has garnered additional backing from foundations and community groups, but a consistent source of revenue is being sought to maintain and expand the program.  Participating children have realized substantial gains in verbalization, self concept, self regulation, social relationships, fine motor skills, behavior, and communication skills among others. Improvements have been documented by therapists, while parents have given anecdotal support.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$15,000.00

Program 3

You Should Hear What You're Missing

Initiated with an Impact Grant from the WIU Foundation, the Hearing Aid Loan program currently benefits secondary students with hearing impairments, but with a reluctance to utilize assistance. Under the guidance of an audiologist and teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, students experience a six-week trial with hearing aids. The program's intention is to combine the experience of using the hearing aids with simultaneous education on the benefits to motivate the student to pursue their own hearing aids. Costs are for hearing aids and the necessary ear molds.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$3,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

Funding Needs

*To help find an ongoing source of revenue for a therapeutic horseback riding program for children, ages 3-5 years, with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Yearly costs to maintain and grow the program will be between $12,000 to $15,000. *To develop the methods and means to generate additional awareness of our programs in the schools and community of Westmoreland County. *To engage more volunteers to assist with special events so that the same cadre of dedicated volunteers does not have to conduct every fundraiser, and to secure sponsors to underwrite the special events--Cash Bash ($3,700 for food/supplies); Breakfast with Santa ($1,000 for food, supplies & entertainment); and Vera Bradley/Longaberger Bingo ($6,700 for prizes, food & supplies). *To better promote the annual Impact Grant program within the public schools of Westmoreland County. *To develop and nurture a social media program to help generate awareness of our organization, its mission and its programs.

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

WIU Foundation (Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Foundation)

Leadership

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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
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Principal Officer

Mr. Gregg Kretchun

BIO

There is no formal CEO/Executive Director, although WIU Foundation Coordinator Gregg Kretchun handles the day-to-day operation.  The WIUF's only staff position, the coordinator is not a paid post and it is a non-voting position.  Kretchun serves as Grants Administrator for the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit; was responsible for formation of WIU Foundation and have overseen daily business since inception in 2003.  He previously served as director of the Westmoreland Arc Foundation for five years and was  instrumental in forming that foundation.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The WIU Foundation is a countywide organization that provides supplemental support to preschool through secondary programs for a student population with special needs, from cognitive disabilities to speech and language impairments to multi-handicapped. Our intent is to enhance educational opportunities by supporting programs that cannot or should not be financed through the normal school funding streams.
 It has been rewarding to watch the foundation grow in its fledgling years, and to witness the flourishing passion for our cause from the volunteers who serve on the board of directors and those who assist with fundraising and friend-raising activities.

Our biggest rewards, of course, are the smiles on the faces of children and parents and the tangible sense of accomplishment of youngsters who have benefitted from WIUF support – from preschoolers experiencing unexpected achievements through therapeutic horseback riding, to equipment that better enables students to grasp new concepts in the classroom, to helping them to hear what’s going on in the world around them, to witnessing leg movement by a young man whose body was stilled by a traumatic brain injury, to teaching youngsters to utilize new technologies, to helping graduating students learn how to become more productive citizens in the workplace and in their community.Our successes may seem small to us, but they are grand achievements in the lives of the children and families involved in our programs."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ms. Beth Ann Alwine

Westmoreland Intermediate Unit

Term: Aug 2010 - July 2012

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?